Anthony A, 24, is a young charismatic Kenyan MSM activist. He focusses specifically on young MSM and works hard to ensure they have access to health, justice and equal rights.
Melissa Wainaina from Behind the Mask interviewed him and below are excerpts of their conversation:
Tell us a little about who you are and your early life.
I grew up and was raised in three major cities of Kenya. I am from a humble family background. I have been lobbying for access to Sexual and Reproductive Health information and STI and HIV services for young MSM (Men who Have Sex with Men) in Kenya.
In addition, I have interned at the East African Sexual Rights Initiative (UHAI?EASHRI) and I worked with a community based organization called Ishtar MSM that focuses on peer education and counselling within LGBTI until 2010.
Please tell us how you entered LGBTI activism? What drove you to it?
I joined national LGBTI activism five years ago during the seventh edition of the World Social Forum in Nairobi 2007.
I remember it as a life changing moment. This is when I got to meet eight Nairobi-based groups along with their courageous activists who joined forces to create Galck, the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya and Kegale, the Kenya Gay and Lesbian Trust.
Feeling a calling to activism, I joined Ishtar MSM shortly afterwards. While there I saw a shift in the strategic course of the activists [and] that increased my enthusiasm to see changes in human rights in Kenya and particularly with the challenges I had encountered personally. I saw a repressive, homophobic environment especially in health and social wellbeing areas.
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